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Belief And Man

Belief And Man

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Published by silverpen

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Published by: silverpen on Aug 24, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The Twenty-Third Word
[This Word contains Two Chapters]
In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.Indeed, We have created man on the most excellent of patterns, * Then sent him down to thelowest of the low, * Except those who believe and do good deeds.1
First Chapter
We shall explain in five ‘Points’ only five of the virtues of belief out of thousands.
Through the light of belief, man rises to the highest of the high and acquires a valueworthy of Paradise. And through the darkness of unbelief, he descends to the lowestof the low and falls to a position fit for Hell. For belief connects man to the All-Glorious Maker; it is a relation. Thus, man acquires value by virtue of the Divine artand inscriptions of the dominical Names which become apparent in him throughbelief. Unbelief severs the relation, and due to that severance the dominical art isconcealed. His value then is only in respect to the matter of his physical being. Andsince this matter has only a transitory, passing, temporary animal life, its value isvirtually nothing. We shall explain this mystery by means of a comparison:For example: among man’s arts, the value of the materials used and that of the art areentirely different. Sometimes they are equal, sometimes the material is morevaluable, and sometimes it happens that five
’ worth of art is to be found inmaterial like iron worth five
. Sometimes, even, an antique work of art is wortha million while the material of which it is composed is not worth five
. If such awork of art is taken to the ___________________ 1. Qur’an, 95:4-6.
The Words / Twenty-Third Word - First Chapter - p.320
antiques market and ascribed to a brilliant and accomplished artist of former times,and announced mentioning the artist and that art, it may be sold for a million
.2Whereas if it is taken to the scrap-dealers, the only price received will be for the five
worth of iron.Thus, man is such an antique work of art of Almighty God. He is a most subtle andgraceful miracle of His power whom He created to manifest all his Names and theirinscriptions, in the form of a miniature specimen of the universe. If the light of beliefenters his being, all the meaningful inscriptions on him may be read. As one whobelieves, he reads them consciously, and through that relation, causes others to readthem. That is to say, the dominical art in man becomes apparent through meaningslike, “I am the creature and artefact of the All-Glorious Maker. I manifest His mercyand munificence.” That is, belief, which consists of being connected to the Maker,makes apparent all the works of art in man. Man’s value is in accordance with thatdominical art and by virtue of being a mirror to the Eternally Besought One. In this
respect insignificant man becomes God’s addressee and a guest of the Sustainerworthy of Paradise
superior to all other creatures.However, should unbelief, which consists of the severance of the relation, enterman’s being, then all those meaningful inscriptions of the Divine Names are plungedinto darkness and become illegible. For if the Maker is forgotten, the spiritual aspectswhich look to Him will not be comprehended, they will be as though reversed. Themajority of those meaningful sublime arts and elevated inscriptions will be hidden.The remainder, those that may be seen with the eye, will be attributed to lowlycauses, nature, and chance, and will become utterly devoid of value. While they areall brilliant diamonds, they become dull pieces of glass. His importance looks only tohis animal, physical being. And as we said, the aim and fruit of his physical being isonly to pass a brief and partial life as the most impotent, needy, and grieving ofanimals. Then it decays and departs. See how unbelief destroys human nature, andtransforms it from diamonds into coal.
 Just as belief is a light which illuminates man and makes legible all the missives ofthe Eternally Besought One inscribed upon him, so too it illuminates the universe,and delivers the past and the future from darkness. I shall explain this mystery witha comparison I saw during a vision, which concerns one meaning of the verse:
God is the Protector of those who believe; He leads them out of 
darkness into light.3 ___________________ 2. See, page 295, fn 19.3. Qur’an, 2:257.
The Words / Twenty-Third Word - First Chapter - p.321
It was like this:I saw in a vision an awesome bridge built between two high mountains situatedopposite one another. Beneath the bridge was a valley of great depth. I was on thebridge. A dense darkness had enveloped every part of the world. I looked to myright and saw a vast grave swathed in an unending dense gloom, that is, I imaginedit. I looked to my left and as though saw violent storms and calamities gatheringamid terrifying waves of blackness. I looked beneath the bridge and imagined I sawa profound abyss. I had a dim torch in the face of this terrifying darkness. I used itand could see a little with its light. A most horrific situation appeared to me. In fact,such awful dragons, lions, and monsters appeared around me and on the bridge infront of me that I exclaimed: “Oh! This torch brings me only trouble!”, and I angrilycast it to the ground and broke it. Then on smashing it, the darkness suddenlydispersed as though I had turned on the switch for a huge electric lamp that lit up thewhole world. Everywhere was filled with the lamp’s light. It showed everything as itwas in reality.I saw that the bridge I had seen was a highway through a plain passing over evenground. The vast grave I had seen on my right I realized consisted from top to
bottom of beautiful, verdant gardens and gatherings for worship, service,conversation, and the rememberance of God under the direction of luminous men.The precipices and peaks on my left which I had imagined to be tempestuous andstormy I now saw fleetingly to be a vast, lovely, and elevated place of feasting,recreation, and enjoyment behind mountains that were adorned and pleasant. Andthe creatures I had thought to be terrifying monsters and dragons, I saw werefamiliar domestic animals like camels, oxen, sheep, and goats. Declaring, “All praisebe to God for the light of belief,” I recited the verse,
God is the Protector of those who believe; He leads them out of darkness into light
,and I awoke from my vision.Thus, the two mountains were the beginning and end of life; that is, this world andthe Intermediate Realm. The bridge was the road of life. To the right was the past,and to the left, the future. As for the small torch, it was the human ego, which isegotistical, relies on what it knows, and does not heed the heavenly revelation. Thethings imagined to be the monsters were the the events and strange creatures of theworld.Thus, one who relies on his ego, who falls into the darkness of heedlessness and isafflicted with the blackness of misguidance resembles my first state in the vision,which, like with the pocket-torch and due to deficient and misguided knowledge,saw the past in the form a huge grave amid darkness imbued with non-existence. Itshowed the future to be a stormy and desolate<big>
The Words / Twenty-Third Word - First Chapter - p.322
wasteland governed by coincidence, and events and beings, which are all submissiveofficials of One All-Wise and All-Compassionate to be monsters. Such a person asthough manifests the verse,
 And those who reject belief, their protectors are the evil ones; they lead them out of light intodarkness
.4But if such a man attains to Divine guidance and belief enters his heart, and if thetyranny of his soul is smashed and he heeds God’s Book, he will resemble my secondstate in the vision. Then the universe will suddenly take on the colour of day and befilled with Divine light. The world will recite the verse,
God is the light of the heavens and the earth
.5Then he will see with the eye of the heart that the past is not a vast grave, but wherethe groups of purified spirits who each century having performed their duties ofworship under the leadership of a prophet or saint exclaim, “God is Most Great!” oncompletion of the duties of their lives, and fly to elevated abodes, moving on to thepast. He will look to the left, and through the light of belief distinguish in thedistance a feasting-place of the Most Merciful set up in palaces of bliss in the gardensof Paradise, beyond the mountainous revolutions of the Intermediate Realm and thehereafter. And he will realize that the storms and earthquakes and tempestuous

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